MIT’s 143rd graduating class will receive their degrees on Killian Court today. At the commencement ceremony, 912 undergraduate students and 1443 graduate students will graduate.
According to Registrar Mary Callahan, for the 2009-2010 academic year, MIT awarded 1,116 bachelor’s degrees, 1,580 master’s degrees, 17 engineer’s degrees, and 583 doctoral degrees.
Raymond S. Stata ’57 (pronounced “STAY-tah”) will deliver the commencement address. Stata has had a long history of involvement with MIT; he is now a life emeritus member of the MIT Corporation, and served as President of the Alumni Association from 1987 to 1988. Stata is also the chairman and co-founder of Analog Devices Inc., a leading producer of signal processing chips. Stata is also the founder of Stata Venture Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in technology start ups.
Stata and his wife, Maria, donated $25 million to MIT in 1997 that allowed the construction of their namesake Ray and Maria Stata Center, designed by Frank Gehry. At the time, it was the largest gift ever given for a building project at MIT.
MIT Chaplain Robert Randolph will start off the commencement ceremony, followed by a singing of the national anthem. Dana G. Mead PhD ’67, the outgoing chairman of the MIT Corporation, will then introduce Stata for his commencement speech. Following Stata’s address, the outgoing Graduate Student Council President Alex Hamilton Chan and the 2010 Senior Class President Jason A. Scott will speak as well. President Susan Hockfield will then conclude the ceremony.
During Commencement Day, the position of chairman of the MIT Corporation will also pass from Dana G. Mead to John S. Reed ’61, who was elected chairman at a Corporation meeting early this morning.
“[Stata has] done a lot for MIT,” said Scott, “we wanted someone who is involved at MIT and knows what it is like to be here.”
“Stata has pretty interesting experiences,” said Chan, “he started as an MIT student and made a very successful career out of doing very nerdy stuff.”
All graduates who are to be awarded degrees were given four guest tickets for commencement, and policy does not allow tickets to be bought or sold. However, as of June 2, four commencement tickets are available for sale on Craigslist. Three for $111, and one for $50.
Guests with tickets may enter Killian Court starting at 7:30 a.m. A webcast of the ceremony can be viewed online at http://web.mit.edu/commencement/2010/webcast.html.
A reception on Kresge Oval will be held after the ceremony. No tickets are required for this event.
The Chancellor’s “Committee on Protocol for Demonstrations at Commencement and other Academic Exercises” has released a statement on the MIT policy on demonstrations. The committee has established general locations that are available for demonstration and leafleting that will not interfere with the Commencement Exercise. All persons entering Killian Court and Johnson Athletic Center will be electronically scanned for security reasons.
Senior Gift Summer Housing Fund
MIT encourages graduating seniors to donate money to the Senior Gift Campaign, which designates a yearly “class project,” but each donor may specify different funds that their gift goes to. This year, the senior gift project is the Summer Housing Fund, which will offset housing costs for MIT undergraduates participating in unpaid and underpaid internships and volunteer work during the summer.
As of Wednesday, a record 72.8 percent of graduating seniors of the class of 2010 had donated to the Senior Gift campaign, shattering 2009’s record of 65 percent. According to Rosheen B. Kavanagh, who handles the Senior Gift for the Alumni Association, unlike previous years, seniors this year had reached their goal of 70 percent participation by May 10 and had exceeded their goal by the last day of classes.
This year, a total of $15,276 was raised for the Senior Gift. The Summer Housing Fund received $8,300 from 304 donors.
Because the seniors met their challenge of 70 percent, the Senior Gift challenger and the current Alumni Association President Kenneth Wang ’71 will donate $25,000 to the Class of 2010 Summer Housing Fund.